•   over 4 years ago

Can't believe all the discussion....

A program called Terminating Call Manager costing $2/month and available from some phone companies completely stopped auto-dialed calls for me. I was getting 20-30 a week. FTC could encourage all providers to offer this program. All legitimate calls get through. Ed Morton

  • 11 comments

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    whitelists, man.

    where are the whitelists?

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Ed, You stated that this program "completely stopped auto-dialed calls". Don't they have to call you at least one time and once you have their number you can block all future calls? I agree that they can be blocked (until they change their number) but they will get through that first time. If that is how your Terminating Call Manager works, then it is very similar to the ATT U-verse system of call blocking. In addition to mearly blocking calls ATT offers "Selective Call Forwarding" where I can forward these unwanted calls (once identified) to another telephone number of my choosing. I have my unwanted calls go to a telemarketer that actually will answer his phone.(most will not). I figure it is my way of giving them a little "pay back" for bothering me in the first place. I find this much more rewarding than just blocking them. I don't have to put up with them and they are wasting each other's time. If only I had a good number to the FTC??? It could be set up for the purpose of receiving these calls and they could be traced and recorded and eventually used as evidence to prosecute these "Robo-Bums". I would just love to see these "scammers" unwittingly dial directly in to a FTC "Sting operation" Talk about poetic justice. Back to the program you mentioned,,,You say it cost you $2.00 per month. That is one of the nice things about the ATT caller management system,,,I don't pay any extra for it and I actually saved money by dropping my old system and going with the U-verse system. Bottom line,,,The U-verse system doesn't "completly stop" the robo-calls but they only get through to me one time. After that all of their calls to me from that number go to a telemarketer who claims to be selling vehicle extended warranties. I agree with you that the FTC should strongly encourage ALL service providers to offer this program and at no additional cost like ATT does. And NO,,, I do not work for ATT. I just thought that I would pass this info along. Rich

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Reply to R.Lee B.......... Hi. This program picks up all incoming calls. That in itself ends all auto-dialed calls. A live caller gets a message telling him if he is a telemarketer to hang up immediately, otherwise dial 1 to complete the call. The latter are the only ones where I hear the phone ring. There is also a friends list, so that your friends get right through, and an "enemies" list in case you want to block some numbers. .Edwin M

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Hello Edwin,Just curious,,,How does the system allow "legal" robocalls to get through? (Example: political, charities, etc.) It appears that if one of these legal calls is picked up by this program it will be treated like all the rest of the auto-dialed calls. Also, is this program being provided to you from a company called Innovative Systems? This program sounds really interesting and I would like to find out more about it. Any system that will "completly block" all illegal robocalls has my attention. Thanks for the info, Rich

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    R.Lee...No auto-dialed calls get through. Charities etc. can call by manually dialing and then dialing "1", but they seem to be stuck on using dialing machines and I never get calls from them. I do, however, get more snail mail from them than before. The program is provided by my telephone company. I don't know if they use another carrier or not. You could try calling them - Citizens Telephone Co., New Auburn WI 715-237-2605. Ed

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    I guess the emergency auto dialed calls cant get thru either.
    Auto Storm warnings, huricane, and tornado, Automated evacuation alerts. Automated amber alerts. automated school closings, so on and so on. This would cause injury or death is somone could not get these calls.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    This is a weak form of CAPCHA system. It can be very effective on a very small scale because it just isn't worth taking any effort to overcome it. If everyone used the same scheme it would be trivial to defeat. The challenge is pretty much the same every time. It can be matched pretty easily using the same techniques they already use to avoid voice mailboxes.

    OK so you go to a more complex challenge and it isn't always a 1. Well That does not work very well either as its only a small amount of additional effort to recognize several different challenges and there are only 12 possible responses (0-9 plus #, *)

    OK so you go more complicated still and try to do a full Voice CAPCHA. Well now you are going to screw up the whole phone system because the reliability of the voice recognition stinks.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Edwin M. To Jeff H, You can program the "OK" auto calls into the "friends" list. I have two programmed that way.
    Phillip H. I don't know that this is a small scale program. Maybe you have some data on that. I live a rural area but the program may well be used throughout the country. I believe that there are sanctions if a telemarketer dials the 1 after being told not to. Of course you are right that any system can be defeated, but it isn't always advisable to do so. At worst, this program would eliminate most unwanted calls. For me, it has eliminated all of them........Ed

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Edwin,

    By small scale I mean, not big enough to take a bite out of the crook's rate of return. A million subscribers would be a large system by most standards but less than 1% of the telephone subscribers and 0.1% of the lines.

    And current telemarketers are merely slimeballs rather than the out and out crooks that will be the main problem in 3-4 years time when the robocaller rate hits several a day.

    We have tried those approaches against spam and they didn't work. While schemes that work against spam are not necessarily going to work well in the telephone system, I can't see why a scheme that failed in the email spam problem would work here.

    I have email and skype. My threshold for getting rid of the phone is pretty low. If people started using CAPTCHA schemes on any scale I would simply stop using the phone. I already have one line that goes only to voice mail.

    It is not necessary either. We have managed to defeat 99% of spam without such horrible and intrusive nuisances.

    Yes, I am aware that the people who insult everyone trying to call them with these roboresponders. But trust me, there will be lots of people who are just hanging up rather than bother to call you.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Judging from the FTC challenge, the government does not want us blocking all robo calls. But judging from public opinion I have seen, consumers want to block all of them.

    The DNC is completely broken, and almost totally useless.

    IMHO this sort of call screening is the simplest answer.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Nigel E Not surprised if the government of this formerly free country would want to be able to harass us. For now, this program works so good that I am almost feeling neglected :-)

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